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People Are Enraged by Killing Cop

Dec 21, 2020, 2:09 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

National

Social and traditional media were flooded with expressions of rage and outcry for a top to bottom revamp of the police system following the killing by Paranaque P/Cpl. Jonel Nuezca, who rushed to Paaniquii, Tarlac to accost and shoot dead Sonya Gregorio, 52 and her 25-year old son, Frank, over a long-time grudge involving a noisy fireworks (boga) that the latter fired, which irritated the Nuezcas. Twitter, Facebook, and digital news portals were filled with voices of disgust and frustration over the quality of policemen in the service and how unforgivable the sin of Nuezca and his daughter, who they said triggered the killing when she proudly announced that her father was a cop, to which the elder Gregorio said she did not care, and this angered further the gun-carrying, off-duty policeman who even trespassed into the abode of the victims. Comments on Twitter and hashtags #StopthekillingsPh, $JusticeforSonyaGregorio, #EndPoliceBrutality, #PulisangTerorista and My Father is a Polceman generated trended with at least 23,000 shares to as much as over 65,000. Facebook comments also generated shares and comments numbering thousands. What angered the people more was the usual disregard for the murder as “isolated” by Nuezca’s superior and the declaration by Bato Police OIC Ariel Buraga that “mahirap kalaban ang pagtitimpi at pagpapasensya. Elderly victim in Tarlac shotting os at fault,” as if further fanning the fires of civilian outrage. The video of the shooting went viral yesterday and was aired by television this morning, causing many people to feel nausea at their breakfast tables. NBI Custody Rep. Lawrence Fortun, in a press statement, urged Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to order the National Bureau of Investigation to take over the case—to avoid whitewashing and possible bail for this non-bailable crime—and for Nuezca to be under NBI custody. This latest instance of a police officer mercilessly and brazenly killing an unarmed persons is not an isolated incident. It is yet another among multitudes of police brutality, but now caught on video clearly showing, leaving no doubt that Cpl. Jonel Nuezca is a murderer.I condemn this dastardly act of a public officer mandated to preserve public order. Justice and the rule of law must govern our society. The suspect should be tried immediately and swiftly meted the penalty he deserves.Given the intensity of the public outrage over the brutal double murder, it would not be wise for the PNP, Napolcom, or DILG to retain custody and jurisdiction over Cpl. Jonel Nuezca because the level of distrust in the PNP now is too high.I ask the House Committee on Justice and Committee on Public Order and Security to investigate, in aid of legislation, all the administrative and criminal cases against police officers, including those which were dismissed or forgotten. Congress must help eradicate the plague of police criminality and brutality. The PNP Internal Affairs Service should be transferred to the Department of Justice. All police criminality and brutality cases should be investigated not by the PNP but by the NBI. According to Police Colonel Renante Cabico, director of the Tarlac Provincial Police Office, Nuezca had gone to the Gregorios at 5:10 p.m. Sunday to investigate who was shooting boga, an improvised canon usually made of bamboo, used to make noise during New Year celebrations. Cabico also said Nuezca was “off duty” at the time and had just come back to his hometown from his usual assignment at the Parañaque City police crime laboratory. In the video, Nuezca shouted the following words before shooting Sonya and Frank at close range: “Putang ina mo gusto mo tapusin kita ngayon ah?” (Son of a bitch, you want me to finish you off now?)Nuezca’s daughter was beside him when he shot the Gregorios. She witnessed the confrontation and the shooting itself. Cabico did not mention why the young girl was present. Cabico added that Nuezca and the Gregorios have long had disputes over right of way which also surfaced during their confrontation on Sunday. By 6:19 pm, Nuezca surrendered to the Rosales police station in Pangasinan province. Paniqui police picked up Nuezca and now have him in their custody. Show no mercy Senator Panfilo Lacson, himself a former Philippine National Police chief, condemned the shooting and called on the police to hold Nuezca accountable. “I enjoin the Philippine National Police leadership to show no mercy. They should spare no effort to make sure that he rots in jail. He’s the last policeman that they need in the force,” Lacson said.Lacson also said police should surrender their firearms to their units when they go off-duty.How did this story make you feel?SULTS“Policemen should turn in their issued firearms to their unit’s armorer or supply officer when on off-duty status. That said, they should not be issued Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) while still in the active service,” said Lacson.


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